UHaul moving truck loaded with boxes and household waste and debris

Can I Use a U-Haul to Go to the Dump?

If you’re doing a major cleanup job around your home, you may wonder what to do if you have a large amount of trash, debris, or old furniture to get rid of. Yet then, you have a flash of inspiration and ask yourself, “Can I use a U-Haul to go to the dump?”

You can use a U-Haul to go to the dump with your trash. Renting a pickup, box truck, or trailer will allow you to haul away the greatest amount of waste in the fewest trips possible. Keeping just a few things in mind, it is a creative solution to a common problem.

This article will delve into the considerations to keep in mind when you want to use a U-haul truck to take your trash to the dump. Let’s get started.

U-Haul moving truck loaded with boxes and household waste and debris

Why Would You Need a U-Haul for Trash?

Typically, your normal trash receptacles – the ones that get picked up once a week – are large enough to accommodate your everyday needs. Sometimes, however, you need to get rid of more trash than your weekly bins can handle.

  • Spring cleaning
  • Major home improvement or remodeling job
  • Moving
  • Garage cleanout
  • Downsizing
  • Decluttering
  • New appliances
  • New furniture
  • Estate dispositions
  • Cleanup of a rental property

You would need a U-haul for trash because there will be instances where you’ll find yourself with more trash than will fit in your bins. Another reason why you might need to take a U-Haul to the dump is that you live in a rural area where regular trash service isn’t an option.

Using a U-Haul for a Big Trash Day

You’re probably already aware that your local trash service picks up large items once a month – appliances, furniture, totes, or anything else that won’t fit in your normal receptacles.

Yet what you may not know is there’s a limit to how much debris you’re allowed to set out on your curb. Typically, this limit is the equivalent of one pickup load. If you have more trash than that, you’re required to take it to your local dump yourself.

After you ask yourself, “Can I bring a U-haul to the dump?” The next question should be, “How much garbage can I bring? 

In most cases, the size of the load doesn’t matter. This is where a U-Haul truck or trailer comes in handy. Even if you own a pickup truck, it might be faster, more convenient, and cost-effective to use a box truck to haul large amounts of garbage.

Also, most communities have ordinances limiting how long you may have large trash items sitting at your curb. You could pay a hefty fine if you violate those rules by putting it out too early.

So if you need to dispose of excessive amounts of trash or larger objects in-between monthly big trash days, renting a U-Haul might be cheaper than paying a fine.

How Much Does It Cost to Bring Trash to the Dump?

The good news is that your monthly garbage bill usually includes access to the dump. How many trips you are allowed varies from place to place, but typically, you are allowed to bring in at least one load per month. Some landfills charge a fee based on the weight of the trash you bring.

car at warehouse

As of 2019, the national average was $55.36 per ton and is expected to climb, but this fee can vary widely, depending on the location. For the prices in your area, call your local landfill or waste management company.

  • Pacific (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii, California, Arizona, and Alaska) – An average of $73.03 per ton, the highest in the nation.
  • South Central (Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Arkansas) – An average of $40.92 per ton, the lowest in the nation.
  • Mountains/Plains (Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Colorado) – In 2019, the average was $50.17, up 16.4% over 2018, the largest annual increase in the country. 

The least expensive state is Kentucky, at $29.82, while Alaska is the most expensive at $154.92. Also, check out Why Is U-Haul So Expensive?

U-Haul Sizes

U-Haul and other truck rental companies have multiple sizes, so you’re sure to find one that meets your needs. Remember that the gross vehicle weight (GVW) – including trash – cannot exceed the listed maximum.

  • Pickup truck: Small loads or studio apartment. Open bed. GVW – 6700 pounds (3039 kg)
  • Cargo van: Small loads or studio apartments. 245 ft.³. GVW – 9000 pounds (4082 kg)
  • 10’ truck – Medium loads or studio/1 BR apartment. 402 ft.³. GVW – 8600 pounds (3,900 kg)
  • 15’ truck: Medium loads or 1BR/2BR home. 764 ft.². GVW – 14,500 pounds (6,577 kg)
  • 20’ truck: Large loads or 2BR/3BR home. 1016 ft.³. GVW – 14,500 pounds (6,577 kg)
  • 26’ truck: Large loads 3BR/4BR home. 1682 ft.³. GVW – 25,999 pounds (11792 kg)

Be aware that after hauling trash in a U-Haul truck, you must take extra care to clean the truck thoroughly to remove any lingering debris, stains, or liquids. Failure to do so may mean forfeiting your deposit or incurring additional charges.

Also, keep in mind that you are responsible for any damage to the cargo area caused by the items that you take to the dump.

Prohibited Items in Landfills

As long as you’re not hauling hazardous waste or other dangerous items, U-Haul doesn’t place any restrictions on your cargo. However, there are some items you might need to throw away that aren’t allowed in landfills:

  • Most electronics – TVs, computers, laptops, tablets, MP3 players, phones, rechargeable batteries, etc.
  • Used tires
  • Scrap metal – roofing, fencing, lawnmowers, grills, etc.
  • Automotive fluids
  • Paint
  • Medications
  • Items containing asbestos or lead

 Call your local landfill or waste disposal company for safe disposal options in your community.


The good news is that if you have excessive amounts of trash or unwanted items you need to get rid of, one out-of-the-box solution is to rent a U-Haul truck to take everything to your local dump.

However, the best rule of thumb is always to check with your local resources to inquire about prohibited items, fees, mandatory recycling, scheduling, and other questions.

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